Cuevas del Drach, Mallorca: journey to the centre of the Earth

Cuevas del drach

Ok, so most of what we’ve said about Mallorca so far has been about food.  But the island has plenty more to offer (honestly – try to tear yourself away from Abaco), and some of the most interesting parts are to be found underground.

There are a number of caves open to the public, the most famous of which are the Cuevas del Drach.  This complex of four large caves in the South East of the island, on the outskirts of seaside town Porto Cristo, is a big draw for lovers of geology and, um, being underground.  The caves, thought to be around 5 million years old, were formed by the action of the Mediterranean sea on the soft rock of this part of the island.

The cave complex was discovered only at the end of the 19th century.  There is an underground lake, Lake Martel, which at 115m in length and 30m width is one of the world’s biggest.  Visits include a 10-minute classical music concert in the unusual surroundings of the Lake Martel, after which you can choose to cross the lake by boat or via the bridge.  Visitors can also see rock formations including an impressive number of stalagmites and stalactites that have been formed over thousands of years, thought to be at a rate of just 1cm per hundred years.

Entry to the caves costs €14.50 for adults and €7.50 for children.  Tours are conducted in groups, and from November to the 15th March, guided visits start at 10.45, 12.00, 14.00 and 15.30.  Tours are more frequent from the 16th of March to the 31st of October, with start times at 10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00 and 17.00.  Tours last about an hour, and cover a distance of 1.2km underground.  The temperature in the caves tends to hover around 21 degrees, and it’s a good idea to wear sturdy footwear to avoid slipping.  You can buy tickets directly from the Cuevas de Drach website.

Foto Flickr / Stefan Kellner

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